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  1. Abstract

    Once thawed, up to 15% of the ∼1,000 Pg of organic carbon (C) in arctic permafrost soils may be oxidized to carbon dioxide (CO2) by 2,100, amplifying climate change. However, predictions of this amplification strength ignore the oxidation of permafrost C to CO2in surface waters (photomineralization). We characterized the wavelength dependence of permafrost dissolved organic carbon (DOC) photomineralization and demonstrate that iron catalyzes photomineralization of old DOC (4,000–6,300 a BP) derived from soil lignin and tannin. Rates of CO2production from photomineralization of permafrost DOC are twofold higher than for modern DOC. Given that model predictions of future net loss of ecosystem C from thawing permafrost do not include the loss of CO2to the atmosphere from DOC photomineralization, current predictions of an average of 208 Pg C loss by 2,299 may be too low by ~14%.

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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
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